tellmeGen Review 2023

As the technology for direct-to-consumer DNA testing became more successful, so did the market for DNA testing, with the steady increase in platforms like 23andMe, MyHeritage, and AncestryDNA offering people access to DNA test facilities.

The competition is as high as ever, so choosing the best DNA test for your money and needs has never been more challenging. Today we're going to look at the slightly less well-known ancestry test provider tellmeGen to assess their standing in the genetic testing market.

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We'll look at the tests they provide and what the results will tell you, comparing them to their competitor platforms.

Who Is tellmeGen?

Most home DNA testing sites carve out their space in the market by appealing to the genealogy market, people who are investigating their ancestry to paint a clearer picture of their family tree.

Spain-based tellmeGen differs from this brand of testing, and though they offer what they call the most complete DNA test, they are a more specialized platform with an emphasis on using DNA tests to help you learn more about yourself than your ancestors.

The technical report you'll receive from your tellmeGen DNA test kit includes an extensive list of 90 points of personal traits. These include data such as your personality and temperament, as well as detailed genetic information such as your pain sensitivity, genetic predisposition to contract complex diseases, and your compatibility with pharmacological products.

Their test results do provide results regarding your genetic lineage and haplogroups, but tellmeGen's unique selling point is the personal data that their tests reveal.

How Does The tellmeGen Test Work?

tellmeGen's DNA test kit examines over 650,000 SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) in the exome part of your genome. This is a focused test that doesn't take a picture of your entire DNA but focuses on the elements linked to ancestry and health.

tellmeGen also provides testing kits for ages 0-3, which require proof of guardianship to acquire.

What Does tellmeGen Testing Kit Include?

Your tellmeGen testing kit will contain:

  • Saliva collection tube with DNA stabilizing solution
  • Funnel top
  • Plastic clamshell casing
  • Prepaid return label
  • Instructions

How To Purchase tellmeGen Testing Kit

tellmeGen's basic Starter DNA kit returns 90 points of personal data, such as your DNA traits, wellness, and ancestry data.

The Advanced DNA kit will return a huge 440 separate data points, including your predisposition to diseases, inherited monogenic diseases, pharmacological compatibility, as well as everything covered in the basic kit.

Both tests include your ancestry, maternal and paternal lineage, and neanderthal DNA, and you will receive free updates.

Tests are easily purchased on the tellmeGen website, and once you receive them, you'll need to register with tellmeGen by clicking 'Create Account' at the top right of their homepage. Use the code at the bottom of the saliva sample tube.

Once your kit has been registered and your test results received, you will be notified via email that testing is complete within 4-6 weeks, at which time you'll be able to review your results on your private tellmeGen account.

How much does tellmeGen's test kit cost?

The Starter DNA kit costs £75, roughly $91, while the Advanced DNA kit costs £139, which works out to $170. You will receive free ground shipping for your receipt and return of the completed test.

How To Use TellMeGen Testing Kit

Taking the test

Your tellmeGen testing kit will arrive with detailed instructions on how to provide an adequate sample for DNA testing.

This test won't include a swab, and you will need to fill the DNA sample vial with spit. Do this by unscrewing the lid of the sample vial and replacing it with the funnel top, filling the tube until it reaches the line, not including bubbles.

tellmeGen requests that your saliva sample is as clean as possible, so either take it first thing in the morning or no less than 30 minutes after eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum.

Be careful when unscrewing the vial top to not lose any of the stabilized solution contained within. Once you've filled the vial, replace the original lid and screw it back on and place it inside the plastic bag and then in the paid postage envelope.

Returning your test

You will also need to complete the included paperwork required to ensure the test can pass customs and arrive at the lab in Spain. You'll receive confirmation of your completed test within 4-6 weeks of receipt of your sample.

The Pros And Cons of tellmeGen Testing Kit


Well-organized, detailed DNA reports

Your final test results will appear broken into three separate categories: Inherited Conditions, Complex diseases, and Traits.

The complex disease breakdown offers a list of conditions split into high, low, and typical risk categories with your personal percentage compared to the average risk. Clicking on each condition will show you the symptoms of it and a personal breakdown of which SNPs revealed this information.

The list is longer than 23andMe's Health and Ancestry test; you'll get details as varied as your proclivity to caffeine consumption, pain sensitivity, and your ability to match musical pitch!

Updated test results

tellmeGen is continually updating its database of subpopulations and new populations, so as new information is discovered about various haplogroups, your information will be updated to match advances in their knowledge.

Focus on customer service

The general consensus is that tellmeGen offers fantastic communication with their customers as well as a series of consultation services to help you understand your test results actionably.

tellmeGen says they respond to any email queries regarding your test within 24 hours, and according to customer feedback, they're pretty reliable on that claim.

They also offer a range of consultations to help you understand your results so you can use the results practically in your daily wellbeing. These consultations include a simple consultation, a nutrigenic report which explains the right sort of diet for you with examples and meal plans, and the pharmogenic report, which will explain how and why your body reacts to certain pharmaceuticals.


Little focus on ancestry

If you want an in-depth ancestry report, then tellmeGen isn't the test provider for you.

While their list of personal information is extensive and leaves nothing to be desired, their ancestry results are vague as they don't test your Y-DNA or mtDNA, so your ancestral report won't be very detailed beyond a general percentage breakdown of where your DNA comes from.

It also lacks relative matching or family tree building which comes as standard with competitors like AncestryDNA or MyHeritage.

When And How Will I Receive My Results?

Once the lab receives your results, they will take 30-45 days to appear in your tellmeGen account, which you will have set up when you first received your test.

When your results are ready, you'll receive an email confirmation, at which point log in to your tellmeGen account, and your results will be waiting for you.

Is tellmeGen Test Accurate?

The tellmeGen provides an astonishing amount of accuracy when it comes to personal information, more than enough to rival the leading market competitor, 23andMe.

They break down your raw DNA data to show your predisposition to certain diseases, pharmacological compatibility, and unique trait breakdowns are exhaustive, detailing your chances of getting over 75 monogenic diseases, predisposition to 130 complex diseases, and over 60 personal traits.

Furthermore, tellmeGen is always updatinitsir methods as the science develops, so you results will change free of charge in light of these developments.

However it doesn't test for Y-DNA or mtDNA, so any insights into your heritage will be basic, and their database size is comparably small next AncestryDNAs.

Will tellmeGenKeep My Information Private?

When you register your test kit, you'll be asked to sign an informed consent agreement so that tellmeGen can test your result. You can also ask for your data to be used anonymously if you want to be especially private.

Every DNA sample that tellmeGen analyses get destroyed after two months of testing, unlike other services where this request has to be made manually.

tellmeGen keep the data of all their customers locked behind advanced security protocols to guarantee utmost confidence for your results. They encrypt their data so that no link can be found between test results, personal data, and the people on their database.

You can change your personal privacy settings at any time by emailing tellmeGen and advising them of the changes. You can expect an actioned response from their customer service time within 24 hours.

How Does tellmeGen Compare To The Competition?

tellmeGen vs. AncestryDNA

As the name tells us, AncestryDNA's testing program is geared more heavily toward unearthing your genetic history, and in this respect, it leaves tellmeGen in the dust.

AncestryDNA doesn't just tell you the country that your DNA comes from but can detail the specific region or city with astonishing accuracy using data from over 1500 regions, a number that is growing every day. The test can tell you if your ancestors migrated to or from an area and give a historical reason as to why, as well as general historical information about where you come from.

As advances in DNA testing are made every day, AncestryDNA will use their findings to update your ancestry information to become more accurate, similar to the free update service that tellmeGen offers.

Further to this, there's a range of practical applications for your test results via the AncestryDNA community platform and their historical database. AncestryDNA has millions of historical records, including census records, birth, marriage, and death certificates, immigration and travel records, and school and church histories.

These resources can take your research to new levels as your trace your ancestry, and the community space gives you somewhere to ask for help and glean information from others who are further into their investigations.

tellmeGen ancestry results are nowhere near as thorough, so if you want to perform ancestry research, then AncestryDNA is a better choice. However, if you're only interested in learning more about yourself with a moderate amount of genetic history included, then tellmeGens personal information feedback is much more detailed than what you can expect from AncestryDNA.

tellmeGen vs. 23andMe

In terms of how your raw DNA data is displayed in your results, 23andMe is tellmeGen's closest market competitor.

23andMe offer three tests, an Ancestry, and Traits test, which compares your raw data against over 2000 locations going back further than eight generations, in some cases down to a county level, and can link you with people who share your DNA so you can compare ancestries. It will also return over 30 personal traits such as physical features and taste and smell aversions.

The advanced Health and Ancestry test offers the same service alongside over 150 personal data points pertaining to how your DNA affects your daily life, such as muscle composition and alcohol flush reaction, as well as telling you what conditions you are likely to pass on to your children.

tellmeGen's ancestry data pales in comparison once again to 23andMe's data, which offers extensive information on each region returned by your results so you can explore your results. tellmeGen also offers no DNA matching service, which points again to the fact that they are a more specialized DNA testing platform. This is indicated further by their deeper breakdown of the information in their Complex diseases, Inherited Conditions, and Traits categories.

The differences between these two platforms are slim, but it's clear that if you're not interested in discovering your genealogical history, then tellmeGen is the correct choice, but if you want a similar test with a smaller list of personal traits and a deeper ancestral picture then 23andMe is the platform for you.

tellmeGen: Frequently Asked Questions

Are tellmeGen's prices reasonable?

Pricing is straightforward, with a single test kit costing $169 with no additional costs, which is $30 cheaper than 23andMe's Health and Ancestry test.

This price difference isn't going to break the bank, and by comparison, the overall results you get will be less comprehensive than 23andMe's but more helpful in specific areas. In any case, tellmeGen's prices are more than competitive given the current market.

Who should take a tellmeGen test?

If you want to take a reasonably priced test to help you better understand your health and what your DNA might hold for your future and your children, then tellmeGen is the test for you. Their DNA testing is forward-facing and offers little data comparatively in terms of your history.

If you're starting out on genealogy research, you're better choosing a competitor such as AncestryDNA.

How many diseases do tellmeGen test for?

Your test results will report on around 200 diseases, and their database is always beinexpandeded and adapted to make it more extensive and easier to understand.

It will tell you about your likelihood to inherit any diseases, your predisposition toward developing diseases, and how your body will react to certain pharmacological compounds, so you can personalize how you take your meds.

The Bottom Line

If you're looking for health-related reports, tellmeGen offers the most competitively priced option on the market and compares respectably against market leader 23andMe. Their single DNA testing kit makes selecting your test easy and gives you both ancestral and personal information for a single, reasonable price.

If you're considering starting a family and want to assess your carrier status or if you're experiencing symptoms that are alarming you or that you think might be hereditary, tellmeGen's results are the best bet to give you a comprehensive breakdown.

However, tellmeGen is e specialized than other test providers, and while this means you'll get all the personal information you could hope for, their ancestral testing leaves a lot to be desired.

There's no family tree building option or community platform, and nothing resembling the database of records offered by AncestryDNA or MyHeritage that budding genealogists can use to action their ancestry data in their investigations.

This doesn't have to be a negative, though; it's simply an adjacent form of testing to these other sites and doesn't promise the same level of detail they do with topics they are less concerned with.

Overall, tellmeGen is a fantastic, reasonably priced service that will return fascinating results on how your DNA affects your daily life.

Neil Edwards

Neil Edwards

Genealogist and family-tree research specialist

Neil was born in Shropshire, England surrounded by centuries of living history. His interest in the past has been a lifelong passion leading to undergraduate degrees in both Economic History & Geography and History & Politics.

This interest in history quickly translated to family history when he moved to the U.S. in 2010. It was here that he began working on his own family tree as well as that of his American wife. That research allowed him to gain a wealth of experience working with both U.S. and European genealogical documents and studying their best uses in researching family history.

Following 9 years of honing his genealogical research skills, Neil was proud to have earned a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University in late 2019. Neil also took part in the research process for a Duke University study into the families of 19th Century UK Members of Parliament.

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